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People to People Ambassador - a scam?

cpeltzcpeltz Registered User Posts: 1,195 Senior Member
edited July 2012 in Parent Cafe
A nephew of a friend of mine has been nominated to a soccer program in Brazil sponsored by People to People Sports Ambassadors and AYSO. It's expensive, but there are scholarship/sponsorhip opportunities apparently.

I thought the People to People thing was a money-making company, but perhaps I'm wrong. The child in this case comes from a very low-income family, and I'd hate to see them get scammed.

Any experience with this program?
Post edited by cpeltz on

Replies to: People to People Ambassador - a scam?

  • heyalbheyalb Registered User Posts: 956 Member
    Steer clear.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    It's a money making venture that isn't an honor to be invited to. It also won't boost students' college apps as some families expect after they've ponied up big bucks for the program.

    Many people who've participated in it have posted that their kids enjoyed their experiences, and found the travel educational. My personal thoughts are that since one can take a family of 4 abroad for the same cost of People to People's programs, I'd rather spend my money to take my family instead of sending just one family member.

    The sponsorship opportunities involve, as I remember from the literature, the student's hitting up local businesses and friends to help pay for their sponsorship. Given the country's economic conditions, a low income person would probably be better off using their time raising and earning money for their own college education.
  • cpeltzcpeltz Registered User Posts: 1,195 Senior Member
    Thanks - this student is far from the college application process, I think only about 10 or 11 years old.
  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    Wait . . . let me guess. A glitzy, ostentatious envelope and folder with flattering things about the student, signed by someone whose last name is iconic in American society. Special, once in a lifetime experiences, except that they involve thousands of students a year, so they can't be all that personal. The cost is thousands of dollars, but it takes ten minutes of searching to find that small print, surrounded as it is with helpful hints about raising funds (or if it's a print honor, the participation cost is replaced by exorbitant prices for leatherette-bound compendia with the kid's name included and prestigious bling that should turn the heads of admissions committees everywhere). And then, sometimes, it even bears one hour of elective credit from a nearby college which will have to be compensated for its non-role in staging the special event. Guidance counselors' standards of ethics should preclude them from submitted kids' names for these things.
  • mrsrefmrsref User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 555 Member
    It's not the honor that they would like you to believe....basically the player's name popped up an list, proably purchased from a soccer league or association. It would probably be fun, but like the previous posters said, your fund-raising will be difficult.

    We used to get 2-3 of these a year. D1 has been invited because of her basketball prowess (obviously "they" never saw her play :) ) and her grades, D2 has been invited to play basketball, soccer, and because of her grades.

    A year ago, D2 indicated an interest in health care careers on the PSAT. Now she gets invited to special summer programs to explore medicine....one cost almost $4000 for a two-week program!
  • Muffy333Muffy333 Registered User Posts: 2,108 Senior Member
    I don't know if their trips are worth it or not but their recruiting methods are bizarre. This year my son was offered the chance to play baseball in Austria and my daughter was offered the chance to participate in athletics (no sport specified) in Australia and Fiji. Last year same son was asked to play soccer in Sweden. He played recreational soccer in elementary school and not very well but someone at P2P must have special insight into his potential to impress an international audience.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    All three of my kids received these invites year after year... Probably a fun trip for the kids and money making business for the teachers/leaders, but not an "honor" in the sense that it's "earned".
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    Stay clear. Save the money for college or a family vacation.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,265 Senior Member
    I've talked to kids I've seen in airports on People to People expeditions (hundreds of kids wearing the same colored t-shirts) in Australia. It seems like they basically get a nice paid, escorted trip to whatever country they visit. Social service seems de minimus.
  • kayakmomkayakmom Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    my son went and it isn't the honor you'd think when recieving the big fancy envelope with the invitation in the mail .i am so naive!
    on one hand he had a great trip and matured a lot
    on the other hand it was a lot of money and really all you need to go is $ and a pulse
    just my opinion!
  • familyoutdoorsfamilyoutdoors Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    My oldest S was invited to a P2P 16 day trip to Australia. It was the summer going into
    7th grade. The only way he was able to attend was they offered a scholarship and he won! He had a great time. His elementary school had an assembly just to present him his scholarship, rolling suit case and travel clothes. Although he did have a great time and unforgetable memories, I have not sent any of my three other boys. We saved up money and went on a cruise as a family. He also got h.s credit that his h.s refuses to honor.
  • rocketman08rocketman08 Registered User Posts: 1,194 Senior Member
    It's not prestigious in the sense that all you need to go is a checkbook. They get the names for these things from various databases... it's not like they're actively evaluating individuals and deciding who to choose. These sorts of things are generally just a mailshot.

    Although it's not a 'scam' in terms of illegal activity it certainly is one of those 'scams' where they go after naive parents promising great fame and glory if they just pony up some cash (those 'whos who' type books being another standard 'scam'). I've seen these 'people to people' groups overseas and (based on my wholly unscientific sample) I wasn't terribly impressed. It basically just looked like a bunch of kids going for a jolly abroad... didn't seem too focused on 'service.' I sat next to one of the counselors on the flight who spent most of the time talking with the other counselors about disciplinary action taken on the trip for some alcohol infused party that apparently had taken place.

    Although there's nothing wrong with a nice vacation overseas...

    Some general rules to follow when it comes to these sorts of things:

    - Never pay money to accept an award (if the award is even remotely worth having on your CV then the organization will have the resources to cover their own costs)

    - Never pay money to apply for a scholarship (again, the scholarship should pay for running costs out of their own funds... if they're collecting money and then awarding it out it's not a scholarship it's a pyramid scheme!)

    - Never pay money to have your name listed in some 'prestigious' book... the only people who ever read those books are the suckers that paid to get their names in there. If the book is even remotely noteworthy (and you're even remotely worth telling others about) the book will do this all on its own (likely without you even knowing about it) and certainly won't ask you to give them money for the 'privilege'

    - Be very careful about accepting nominations to join various mysterious 'honor' societies. With a few exceptions (eg PBK) most of these are also 'scams' and the only thing you get for your money is your name added to various marketing lists so you can get bombarded with 'exclusive' offers for credit cards and the like

    - If you've actually been suckered into one of the above (it's OK, it happens) for goodness sake don't list it on your CV. It's bad enough you got suckered out of money, but there's no need to highlight this for everyone else to see. Anyone who's worth impressing knows the difference between real honors and those 'honors' that basically just require a checkbook and a pulse.

    - If you're interested in study abroad, and your high school doesn't offer a program, remember that many colleges run their own programs using their own faculty. In addition to (likely) being a lot less expensive (such trips are often subsidized by the school), they're also likely to be a lot more focused on actual academic work.
  • J'adoubeJ'adoube Registered User Posts: 2,133 Senior Member
    The only invitation S got that was truly an honor and would have been all expenses paid was the one from the Telluride Association summer program (TASP) right around when PSAT scores came in. For all the other ones, either the honor was dubious and/or cost thousands of dollars for a 2-3 week program.
  • db123db123 Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    I received at least 5 or 6 invitations for people to people in high school. My brother scored really high on the PSAT and receives junk from them all the time. It's expensive and it doesn't really improve your child's chance of getting into a great school. It just shows you have some extra cash to burn (or are really gullible). I know someone who went on a P2P trip, and she said it was basically a tour of wherever they got to go. Worthless.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime - Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    It was a substitute for Summer Camp. He never went to summer camp and this qualified. Perhaps a bit more expensivhee but perhaps if he attended camps, that total would have equaled the cost of PtP. He did made a local friend that he is still close to and who is also a big traveler.
This discussion has been closed.